A Georgia mother tried to break up a fight by shooting into a crowd of people, but accidentally shot and killed her teenage son, according to reports.
Latoya Tilson, 33, is facing charges of aggravated assault, cruelty to children, family violence, reckless conduct and the use of a firearm during the commission of a felony. According to the Atlanta Journal Consitution, the charges could be upgraded now that the boy has died.
Her 15-year-old son, Pierre, and 13-year-old daughter were visiting for the holidays. They got into an argument outside of the apartment complex and Pierre was reportedly trying to protect his sister from a 17-year-old boy.
The mother stepped out to break up the fight and someone hit her in the face, according to Master Sergeant Jeff Hightower. That’s when she pulled out a .25-caliber handgun and fired several shots into the crowd, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
One bullet reportedly hit the unnamed 17-year-old in the buttocks and another struck her own son in the back of the head. The mother fled the scene, the Daily Mail reported.
When police arrived at the scene, they found Pierre unconscious on the floor. They performed chest compressions on the boy as they waited for an ambulance to arrive.
Pierre was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital and was in intensive care for two days. He died on April 6. The 17-year-old boy who was also shot was reportedly taken to the hospital and successfully treated for his injuries.
The victim’s father, Wayne Jones, told WSB-TV that he forgives Tilson for accidentally killing their son. He added that the woman was on suicide watch.
“She’s very distraught at this point,” Jones said. “If she’s looking or listening, I forgive you.”
Neighbors were shocked when they heard gunshots in the apartment complex.
“I just think its really sad,” neighbor Leslie Brooks told CBS 46. “I just think there’s another way that the situation could have been handled. Maybe police could have been called a little sooner.”
“It shocked the whole community,” Brooks continued. “Because there are a lot of children out. There are a lot of parents.
“I’m a mother, so I can only imagine the devastation that she is feeling as well. But to pull out a gun, as a mother into a children’s situation, I just think it’s really sad.”
Stacey Marshall, another neighbor who witnessed the incident, told 11Alive that “it wasn’t on purpose at all.”
“It was a mother trying to protect her kids, it just went wrong,” Marshall said.
Pierre was a freshman at Southwest DeKalb High School and was a keen drummer. The school’s band director, James Seda, visited the teen when he learned the boy was in the hospital.
Seda reportedly played one of Pierre’s drum solos for him in an attempt to get him to respond, but it didn’t work. Seda said he was heartbroken.
Tilson will appear in court on April 20.
Photo Credit: College Park Police Department via Daily Mail